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Elderly lady - hallucinations & not coping after general anaesthetic

(11 Posts)
MirandaGoshawk Mon 24-Sep-12 22:16:47

Hi, my mum is 91 & had a fall in mid-August & broke her hip. She had a plate put in under GA. I saw her the next day & she seemed OK, but gradually she has gone a bit weird, seeing people who aren't there, thinking 'they' are out to get her, etc. She has always had all her marbles but now she's paranoid. Anyway, a nurse told her that the anaesthetics they give to elderly people don't send them under as deeply as with younger fitter people, and so give them hallucinations etc, which will last for ever!

Does anyone know if this is true? Any ideas?

Vulgar Mon 24-Sep-12 22:36:13

Hi Miranda,

I'm no medical expert but I have heard that a urinary infection can give elderly people hallucinations and also mimic the signs of dementia. It may be worth having her checked out to see she hasn't got an infection as this would hopefully be simple to sort out.

I've never heard about the anaesthesia problem but hopefully there maybe someone along soon who knows more.

hope you get your mum sorted soon.

MirandaGoshawk Tue 25-Sep-12 14:30:00

Hi, Vulgar - urinary infection does ring a bell actually, I seem to remember it mentioned but not in relation to the anaesthetic. I hadn't joined the two up. Thanks.

CMOTDibbler Tue 25-Sep-12 14:41:28

The anaesthetic thing isn't true at all, and the most common reason for hallucinations etc in the elderly are UTIs, though my mum reacts really badly to codeine like this.
Hope she's better soon

memphis83 Tue 25-Sep-12 14:47:12

My DGM had UTI's in hospital and she was seeing people who were not there and talking utter rubbish not remembering anyones names, as soon as antibiotics kicked in she was back to her normal self.

MirandaGoshawk Tue 25-Sep-12 15:20:05

Memphis - that sounds like Mum! I'll have to try to be there when the Doc visits.

MirandaGoshawk Wed 26-Sep-12 15:45:34

CMOT what's your basis for saying that the anaesthetic thing isn't true, please?

I'm trying to get as much info as I can before I speak to her doctor.

CMOTDibbler Wed 26-Sep-12 15:55:41

I've seen plenty of older ladies go under anaesthetic, and everyone has the same level of anaesthesia. Its not really something you can adjust the depth of anyway, and not for orthopaedics in particular where they need total relaxation.

CFSKate Wed 26-Sep-12 16:40:26

Your post reminds me of this.

"Researchers from Southampton University report compelling evidence that surgery, as well as injury and infection, can dramatically accelerate the disease and the rate of brain death in people who already have early Alzheimer’s disease.

For six months, the team monitored the physical and cognitive health of 300 British people with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Around half of this group had an adverse health experience (including having an operation, suffering a physical injury such as a fall or developing an infection such as a bad cold, flu or urinary tract infection) that was sufficient to trigger a measureable recovery response — an increase in the production of white blood cells that enable the body to recuperate.

‘Using well-established tests, we were able to show that the process of activating the recovery response brought about up to a tenfold increase in the rate of cognitive decline compared with the second group,’ said the lead researcher, Clive Holmes."

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Wed 26-Sep-12 17:32:17

Hi Miranda,

This is what happened to my Grandfather. He hallucinated that he could see people who he fought with in the Navy and saw some horrible things. However in his case it DID get better and the hallucinations wore off eventually. Also as time went on he was able to rationalise the hallucinations and understand what was real and not.

MirandaGoshawk Thu 27-Sep-12 17:28:26

CMOT OK, thanks. That makes sense. CFSKAte Interesting. But I don't think that applies in this case because she hasn't got Alzheimer's (at least I don't believe so).
Keema That's good to hear. How long did it take, as a matter of interest? Mum sounded a lot more rational this morning & said that she thought the anaesthetic effects were finally wearing off. They have already made arrangements for her to be assessed psychologically (see a shrink?) and hopefully she will be able to say that she's getting back to 'normal'.

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